As a leader, I like to measure results in visible, countable ways. We struggle with outcomes that are not easily measured. Personal growth as a leader has tremendous impact on ministry, but measuring it can be difficult. We don’t know what might have happened had we read more books or attended another conference. Church leaders frequently become caught in the whirlwind of life and neglect personal growth. We are busy! However, we can be sure that neglecting personal growth as a leader causes us to miss our fullest potential in ministry.
An effective leader must find ways to grow, continuously and consistently. Just like one physical workout doesn’t cause instant muscle growth, one personal change doesn’t lead to immediate spiritual or personal growth. Turn these changes into habits, however, and ultimately you see outcomes.
Personal growth is a conscious choice. You choose to read a book. You choose to listen to a podcast or read a blog. You choose to go to a conference or join a Leadership Cohort.
To be a great leader you must find ways to grow. You choose.
4 Barriers in Your Personal Growth
- Lack of Time
Many leaders feel they don’t have enough time for personal growth. Truthfully, you can grow your leadership skills in a few minutes a day if you are consistent. Read a chapter in a book daily. Listen to a podcast weekly. Participate in a Leadership Cohort monthly. Attend a leadership training or two yearly. Healthy leaders take small, consistent steps in the same direction. They manage their time not the other way around. “Leaders don’t develop in a day, they develop daily.” John Maxwell
- Onset of Apathy
Some leaders, especially in mid-life, become apathetic about personal growth. Maybe you had a bad ministry experience. Maybe you feel there’s nothing left to learn. Maybe you are just in a rut. Whatever the reason, you stall in your growth as a leader. Apathy tends to set in when we most need to focus on growth.
- No Ongoing Plan
The sheer amount of resources available for personal growth as a leader can be overwhelming. How do you choose a plan or growth path? Because there are so many resources to choose from, we end up choosing nothing. Choose a respected church leader or two and begin reading their books or listening to their podcasts. Ask someone you believe is growing what they are doing. Whether the plan is formal or informal take a step and get started.
- Pain from the Past
Unfortunately, ministry often comes with hurtful words and emotions. The scars these experiences leave can become debilitating. We might begin to believe them. Some past hurts may even be due to our mistakes and inexperience. Keep in mind that you are still becoming His disciple and the leader He called you to be. Finding another pastor, a Zone Consultant, or a friend who can help you heal. Begin moving forward.
Illinois needs church leaders who are consistently growing.
I want you to join me in growing in 2018. As a pastor, your call is to lead the church to fulfill the Great Commission. I remember hearing Pastor Johnny Hunt tell a story of a Gospel conversation from the previous week. It was fresh. He challenged us to have fresh stories of our witness. I think that is true with leadership development also. We need fresh growth. If we aren’t growing and the culture continues to change at light speed, we will find ourselves without the ability to lead in the world in which we live.
Your church needs a fresh, growing leader. The best gift you can give your church is to be a pastor who is personally growing in your spiritual health and leadership ability.